This article will detail the Archaon the Everchosen, available to most Chaos forces. We will start from his lore, going into detail of its rules and seeing its usefulness in the armies it belongs to.
For a complete run-down of the different armies available in Age of Sigmar, consult our Age of Sigmar army overview article.
In this article we will refer often to Matched Play and other technical terms like allegiance abilities, command points, army roles in building a list, core battalions, Endless Spells/Invocations, etc. We assume the reader will be knowledgeable with those terms, otherwise please refer to the relevant guides for more details.
Overview and Lore of Archaon, the Everchosen
Archaon the Everchosen story predates the Mortal Realms and starts in the World-That-Was as a priest of the cult of Sigmar. Disillusioned, in his lust for power, directed his attention to the Chaos Gods and managed to become their favourite until he was crowned the Everchosen.
A title well deserved since he succeeded in something no other chaos champion ever did: the destruction of the World-That-Was. Unsatisfied, he continued his path of devastation in other realms and worlds until he finally turned his gaze to the Mortal Realms.
Here he encountered once again Sigmar, and at the Battle of the Burning Skies, he tricked him to throw his precious hammer, the Ghal Maraz to a copy of Archaon that in reality was a portal to the void where the hammer has been resting until recently.
Without his hammer, his troops unable to contain Archaon forces, Sigmar escaped to Azyr, leaving to the Everchosen full control of every other realm. He used the Eightpoints, a space between realms with connection to every other realm through giant portals called Realmgates, as his stronghold creating the Varanspire, an insanely huge citadel where he and his warriors rest in between campaigns.
While technically not a mere mortal, Archaon is not a daemon either and could be killed. His extended lifespan is another of the rewards obtained by the chaos gods while serving them. However, the Everchosen ultimate goal is to become the supreme power in the universe, defeating the Ruinous Powers and taking their place. For this reason, while satisfying their desires, he never accepted daemonhood or favoured one god over another.
Archaon model, one of the tallest in the Age of Sigmar range, dates from the End Times period of Warhammer Fantasy and is a majestic model of the Everchosen riding Dorghar, Steed of the Apocalypse whose 3 heads are vestiges of his meal composed of 3 greater daemons of Khorne, Tzeentch and Nurgle.
In game, he is the rightful general of any Slaves to Darkness army even when he is not taken as the main general, and can be used in any Blades of Khorne, Disciples of Tzeentch, Maggotkin of Nurgle or Hedonites of Slaanesh army without being an ally but also without benefitting from their allegiance abilities.
Rules for Archaon
Archaon is a warrior-wizard with a cost proportioned to a divinity. As a warrior, he has a good number of melee attacks with few slightly decreasing the more damage he takes. His sword in particular is able to utterly slain any hero as long as he rolls two 6 when rolling to wound.
He has 25 wounds, a 3+ save, 5+ ward and a 4+ ignore spell/endless spells effect that guarantee him enough survivability. In addition, he has a 12″ aura where enemies can’t receive the Rally or Inspiring Presence command abilities.
Aside from the Undivided mark, when in a Slaves army, he can take one other chaos god mark at the beginning of the battle, with Nurgle, and its -1 to wound when attacking him, probably the best one.
His Eye of Sheerian determines the next battle round priority, a neat trick, especially in a round where you are second, to be able to plan knowing if you are getting the double turn or not.
But Archaon is not just a fighter, he is also a wizard, a double caster, although with no casting bonuses.
He is a behemoth and a monster too, and as a monster he has access to his own monstrous rampages:
- Nurgle’s head provides up to 7 mortal wounds (on a 3+).
- Khorne’s head can slain a model and heal as many wounds if it can beat the target’s wound characteristic on a single roll.
- Tzeentch head can dispel an endless spell on a 2+ and do D3 mortal wounds to its caster.
Archaon role in Chaos armies and verdict
Archaon has been often used in many Chaos armies as he could, one way or another, benefit from their allegiances. Now he has access only to Slaves to Darkness allegiance and even a couple of abilities, like the Eye, are locked in Slaves.
The only ability he can transport across is the command By My Will that allows the target Chaos unit to fight even if they are slain first.
So his utility in other chaos forces is greatly reduced, and in Slaves to Darkness is not an auto-include anymore. There are many other useful units and heroes that cover the same role and cost less.
Despite this, if you need a monster that can punch hard and has a bit of versatility thanks to being a wizard, he is your man. In a Slaves to Darkness Ravager army he can first give death frenzy to a cultist unit, and then bring them back with the sub-faction heroic action.
If you are interested in the competitive standpoint, when we talk about statistics, a tremendous effort is done by Rob from the Honest Wargamer, Ziggy and Tsports Network! in the AoS Stat Centre with precious information, constantly kept up to date.
Really good informative material is also collected by Dan from AoS Shorts.